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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone I purchased a "lightly modified" STi from a small dealer last May with intentions of simply putting it back to stock and driving it as is. Well of course being a modified performance car obviously things did not go as planned and I've just run into issue after issue. At this time I am more motivated as ever to get this thing as close to factory fresh as possible, I literally fantasize about what it would be like to pick one of these up brand new from the dealer. I figured I should share my pain and progress with the Subaru community so I'll post my progress here.


First off here is a picture of the car the day I picked it up:



List of mods when I purchased the car:

K sport Gravel coilovers
HKS Hi-power cat-back
Bosal shorty DP (still retains half of the stock DP w/ cat)
K&N typhoon intake
"aftermarket alarm system"
pioneer radio and component speakers
Window tint

So this list isn't too bad and originally seemed feasible. I immediately picked up an acessport because the DP was throwing a code and I wanted a more correct tune. I started gathering suspension pieces to replace the coilovers because they were far too aggressive for a daily driver. It was shortly after this period when I started digging into the car did I get a better idea of the type of previous owner. The windows started intermittently working, first the passenger rear, then the drivers front, then the passenger front. I took the door panel off and the nightmare really started. The wiring is some of the worst I have ever seen. Someone hacked into the factory window switch wiring and installed two aftermarket power window regulators (I'm still completely unsure of the purpose but can only guess there was a window function as part of the aftermarket alarm)



:lol: So yeah, this should be really fun. Here is a short list of things I found in here:

-Factory door/window switch wiring butt crimped to some form of random power window regulators which are zip-tied to the door bar
-door speakers screwed into homemade foam speaker spacers which were secured with twisted wire to the door (I think it was coat hanger)
-speaker crossover sitting inbetween door panel and door, not secured to anything, wires twist-tied together. The speaker wiring goes inbetween the speaker and spacer and then back through the door frame. The crossover is sitting on the ground in the picture above, you can see the wires go out of frame.

Here is a close-up of the sweet aftermarket power window regulators:



I'll wrap this book up for now but I'll update this later with my progress so far and plan for moving forward!

-Adam
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Wow and good luck with this project.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Wow and good luck with this project.

Thanks, luck is definitely something I will need plenty of during the course of these repairs.




So here is my current list:


Completed maintenance/repairs:
- replaced spark plugs/compression test June 2014 (135 across the board)
- replaced radiator July 2014
- replaced timing belt September 2014
- rewired door speakers, replaced speaker spacers and secured crossovers and tweeters
- replaced failing aftermarket radio with older JVC I had lying around, completely re-wired aftermarket harness into stock harness November 2014
- repaired wiring fiasco from previous owners hacked alarm installation to repair power windows & factory alarm/keyless entry May 2015
-cleared/sealed headlights May 2015
- repainted Brembos black Oct 2015
- "repaired" broken scoop support Oct 2015
- replaced drivers axle January 2016
- replaced turbo center section April 2016
- replaced short block, clutch, motor mounts, brake rotors/pads, etc December 2016


Already converted back to "stock":
- replaced Ksport coil-overs for KYB's and Swift Sport springs
- replaced HKS cat-back for OEM
- replaced K&N Typhoon for OEM airbox
- replaced Bosal downpipe OEM down pipe, switched to Cobb OTS stage 1 map

Completed Mods:
- wingless trunk Oct 2015
- Auto Meter boost & oil pressure gauge Oct 2015
- pillar-less grill Oct 2015

To do

Maintenance:
- replace shifter joint bushings
- transmission bushings
- replace accessory belts

Body stuff:
- remove rear window tint
- install OEM under-tray
- replace passenger front wheel well

Interior stuff:
- re-wire/redesign sound system with sound deadening
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

I purchased a full OEM turbo back exhaust off ebay. I hate the N1 style can on the HKS exhaust so much, I have never been more excited for stock parts. I'll be throwing this on at band practice tomorrow because we practice in a shop with a lift so it will be quick and easy. I'm just swapping the cat-back for now and will swap the downpipe when I have more time.



-Adam
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Don't forget your messing with exhaust which is going to mess with the tune on the car. I know nothing about the borla "half" downpipe. I would get rid of the intake, dp and catback at the same time. Then flash to stage 1 on the cobb. Well actually I would get a real downpipe, a quieter catback and go stock with the intake and stay stage 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Luckily the OTS stage 2 map is perfectly safe with a stock catback. Speaking of which I was able to swap the exhausts out last night! I couldn't be happier with the progress!



The next steps are selling my coil-overs and exhaust to put towards checking more items off my list!
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

The Intermittent air bag light may be the connection under the seat..my sisters forester does that when ever I have to adjust the seat .. I'm not sure if the sti is the same as her 04forester but there is a yellow connection under the seat that gets pulled on when you move the seat.. Push it together and it goes away
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Two huge items checked off this weekend. A friend of a good friend of mine has professionally installed auto accessories for a long time and was willing to take a look at my car. Well I dropped my car off at his home and a couple days later he had fixed both my power windows and keyless issue. I have never been so happy to be able to use all four power windows and my key fob. Just looking at a beat-up, early 2000's key fob puts a smile on my face.
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

The Intermittent air bag light may be the connection under the seat..my sisters forester does that when ever I have to adjust the seat .. I'm not sure if the sti is the same as her 04forester but there is a yellow connection under the seat that gets pulled on when you move the seat.. Push it together and it goes away
Thats kind of what I was thinking also. Currently it is off since I had the wiring repaired so I'm hoping it may have gotten taken care of during that fiasco, however if it comes back I'll definitely look into the seat wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Now that some of the major stuff is checked off the list I can now move on to some little stuff. I paid a friend a couple dollars to clear and seal my headlights:

Before:




After:



Much better!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Went over to my parents for belated fathers day dessert and took advantage of the garage & tools. My car came missing the alternator cover which always bugged me because it ties the engine compartment together well. I grabbed one on Ebay and threw it on. No pictures so just imagine a stock STi engine bay with a red Typhoon intake!

The car has a pioneer component speaker set in the front and the drivers tweeter has always worked intermittently then recently died altogether. I ordered a new set of tweeters on an Amazon binge and installed one, unfortunately no dice. I'm thinking it's either the crossover or the wiring now, I'll have to dig further. At least they look 100x better!

came with the car:




new:



Lastly, something I have wanted since I got the car, a Forrester radio pocket w/ door. Originally the car came with a half fried Pioneer head unit terribly installed with an open pocket on top and the radio on the bottom. For some reason this drove me crazy even though it doesn't matter all that much. I immediately switched it and installed and old JVC radio dating back to an eg honda civic I had in 2006 but the pocket was all bent up and I needed a refresh.

my first setup which I dealt with for a year:




new:



The cage that is holding the head-unit in is aftermarket and I had to drill new holes for the pocket. Unfortunately it is an 8th of an inch too far into the console. It is not very noticeable in the photo because the camera was centered, however from the normal perspective there is an obvious gap on the side which looks bad. I will try to drill new holes directly next to the original ones however it is so close that actually may push the pocket out too far. Regardless, definitely a project for another night.

-Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

My swift sport springs arrived yesterday so I can get the suspension buttoned up within the week. More and more things are getting checked off the list!
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

So I hit a wall and admitted total defeat tonight...

I watched a youtube video the other day explaining that my knocking sound could quite possibly be my timing belt tensioner. He explained it would be a light tapping most noticeably during 1-2k RPM which is true in my case. He then went on to explain this would occur shortly after doing a timing belt repair which I did just complete in September and it is due to faulty replacement tensioners. Today after work I brought it back over to my parents garage and removed the fans, belts, crank pully and all of the timing cover bolts except for the last effing one. The nut is just spinning in the plastic on the back side cover. I'm starting to yell obscenities at this point so I figure I'd better not rip my hair out. It is on the bottom in between the header and the bottom of the cover so I'm not even sure if I'll be able to cut it off. I may have to pull the radiator and drill it out, we'll see tomorrow. It's beer time.
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Things were going so well. Sorry to hear about these issues.
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

I've got stock exhaust parts if you need them from an 2006 ... I think my shipping cost from Europe wouldn't be worth it, but if you're that hard up, I'll make you a deal for sure ;-) (full stock exhaust, headers, intake manifold, cross-pipe, uppipe, heat shields and all)
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Things were going so well. Sorry to hear about these issues.
I know, right? Well I dug back in it tonight with mixed results. Lets start off with some pictures of what I'm dealing with.

Where is that bolt?



Enhance!




Enhance!




This should be fun.




So I started attacking the bolt with a mini dremel. Dremel in one hand, mirror in the other, work light propped up at an angle so I can see but not blocking my view. After about ten or so minutes of this in a fit of delusion I flexed the timing cover out and *snap* it comes off in my hand along with about four inches of the rear timing cover...

I'm sitting there contemplating what to do. Do I buy a new rear timing cover and remove and go through removing and replacing the timing belt and everything to get to it? However, maybe if I could get the bolt off, get that piece out, and use some plastic epoxy to hold the piece in it would be okay? That would definitely be a better option than the three or four seconds I contemplated putting the covers back on with the whole crack exposed and just hoping for the best :lol:

A trip to the store and some plastic specific epoxy later I'm at this point. To be safe I'm letting it cure the full 24hours and I'll see how it turned out tomorrow.



Oh, the whole reason I took it apart was to check and see if that knocking noise was coming from the tensioner. Well I started the car with the covers off and pushed down on the tensioner to see if the noise would subside and I would say it did not. It was hard to tell. I did listen to the block through a pry bar, stethoscope style, and now I feel like it is more top end noise and now I'm just confused.
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

God whoever owned this car before was a right naughty bastard ... lol! Good luck!
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

God whoever owned this car before was a right naughty bastard ... lol! Good luck!
They definitely were, unfortunately though this was 100% my fault. I replaced the timing belt myself so I've had this all apart before. I can't blame anyone for overtightening the bolts except for myself! Oh well, onward. The block has 100k on it so this is literally only a temporary solution until I have another reason to have the belt off again. I figure it's just a dust cover and there is no load or wear so hopefully I wont see any problems.
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

Well the epoxy didn't hold, I ended up having to buy a new rear timing cover, removing everything to replace it.







Back together and running for now!
 

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Re: Adam tries to save a severely abused '04 STi

I finally (almost 2 months later) got the swift springs in and now the suspension is officially done, including bump stops and insulators! I also had to replace a wheel stud that mysteriously stripped when I took my car to a Monro Muffler to have the summer tires put on. They also stripped out 2 of my acorn lug nuts and stuck on two, random open lug nuts. I had some rusty spline nuts from winter tires on my old WRX and stuck those on like ghetto wheel locks. I ordered some wheel studs and a set of new spline lug nuts and put those on as well.



With the Tein Springs




super ghetto..




Thanks Monro!




All better!




I'll have to grab some pictures of the new springs although I'm pretty sure they're within a half inch of the Tein's. They do feel MUCH better!

-Adam
 
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